Former boxer Mike Tyson has been banned from entering Britain by the Home Office.

It means the former world heavyweight champion - known as Iron Mike to fans - will not be able to promote his new autobiography in the UK.

Tyson, who was known as the "baddest man alive" during his career, had been due to meet British fans and answer questions in a boxing ring, as part of promotion for his new book, "Undisputed Truth."

The government refused to comment on the record about the details of Tyson's ban. A spokesman said: "We reserve the right to refuse entry to the UK to anyone who is convicted of serious criminal offences."

A Whitehall source confirmed this was why action was taken to keep convicted rapist Tyson out of the country.

It appears Tyson's team may have known about the ban; he did not seek entry in to the country on Tuesday as scheduled. His Twitter feed was silent about the issue.

Tyson has had at least 20 brushes with the law since 1978, including being jailed for rape in 1992.

However his rap sheet did not stop him from visiting Britain twice for fights in 2000. But following a Home Office review of border rules, he was judged to not be a fit person to enter the country.

A government spokesman said: "In December 2012 we toughened up the rules on entering the UK, replacing the previous discretionary approach with a clearer, stronger framework including mandatory refusals based on the length of, and time since, sentence."

Publisher Harper Collins was not available to comment.